Two Merced County Sheriffs Involved in Fatal Shooting Identified

DELHI -- The Merced County Sheriff’s Department has identified the two deputies involved in a deadly Thursday night gunfight in Delhi.

Investigators say deputies were called to Harmony Ranch Drive just before 6 p.m. for a reported domestic disturbance. A family member called 911 to report a physical fight between a couple inside the home.


Merced County sheriffs Alejandro Barba (L) and Adam Leuchner (R) were involved in a deadly shooting Sept. 8,, 2016 that left a suspect dead, and Barba injured. (Photo courtesy: Merced County Sheriff's Department)

When deputies Alejandro Barba and Adam Leuchner arrived, Jose Torres walked out of the home and opened fire. Barba, a 16-year veteran the department, was struck twice just moments after he stepped out of his patrol car. His partner, Leuchner, returned fire killing the 38-year-old gunman.

Investigators say Torres has been in trouble with the law before. Livingston Police Officers and sheriff’s deputies have been called on reports of child neglect, domestic battery and drugs.

As for Barba, he was flown to a Modesto hospital where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

"He currently is in stable condition and expected to have a full recovery which we’re ecstatic about," Sergeant Delray Shelton, with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said. "Sheriff’s administration has deemed resources for all involved parties to kind of help get through this tragic time."

Deputy Luchner is on paid administrative leave and Deputy Barba, once he’s released from the hospital, will also be placed on paid administrative leave which is protocol.